Implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

NSSGA applauds Congress and the Biden Administration for diligently drafting and advancing the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). We are proud to have been a partner in the work to complete this historic bill, as it will directly improve the lives of all Americans. The aggregates industry stands ready to deliver the billions of tons of construction materials needed to build the roads, bridges, tunnels, rail, transit, ports, energy (including solar and wind facilities), water, broadband and every public works project funded through IIJA. At all stages of implementation, we encourage every federal agency to efficiently execute and deliver IIJA’s investment to project planners.

More than $850 billion in Transportation Spending

$304 billion in reauthorization of surface transportation programs

Over $550 in new spending across each sector

• Roads & Bridges: $110 billion

• Transit: $39 billion

• Freight and Passenger Rail: $66 billion

• Safety: $11 billion

• Airports: $25 billion

• Ports & Waterways: $17 billion

• Electric vehicle chargers: $7.5 billion

• Electric buses: $7.5 billion

• Reconnecting Communities: $1 billion

• Water: $55 billion

• Broadband: $65 billion

• Energy & Power: $73 billion

• Environmental remediation: $21 billion

• Western water infrastructure: $8.3 billion

• Resiliency: $46 billion

Thank Those Who Supported IIJA

Here you can use our social media graphics to thank and recognized those Senators and Representatives who cast their vote for meaningful infrastructure investment in IIJA.

Senators - Thank you to the 69 who voted yes!

Representatives - Thank you to the 228 who voted yes!

IIJA Specific Issues

Below are the specific issues NSSGA is advocating for within this topic:

  • Avoid Partisan Mandates, Provide DOTs Flexibility: Whether investing in a new road in a rural community or a new transit system in an urban city, this legislation should benefit all Americans. That is why we are concerned with proposed policies that were not included in IIJA, which insert new, partisan criteria into the planning process, such as restrictions on new highway capacity projects. Further, utilizing existing formulas and funding structures is key to accelerating the work, and it is the best way to ensure the promises of IIJA are delivered to every community. While distributing funds, the administration must continue to provide state and local governments with the flexibility to address and prioritize their unique transportation needs as Congress intends.
  • Execute Permitting Reform: The IIJA includes critical policy provisions to ensure taxpayer dollars flow expeditiously to the array of infrastructure projects, without sacrificing environmental standards. IIJA makes key permitting reform steps by codifying One Federal Decision, expanding categorical exclusions, expediting interagency reviews, and granting greater flexibility around utility relocation. These new policies implemented by the administration should ensure projects reduce supply backlogs, stay on time and are executed on budget. These projects include delivering renewable energy, providing clean water, expanding ports, updating reliable transportation, and modernizing rail lines. NSSGA will continue to support efforts in Congress to further reduce permitting delays.
  • Buy America Exclusion: Title 9 of IIJA includes a broad expansion of Buy America requirements to federally funded infrastructure projects. Section 70917 clearly excludes “cement and cementitious materials, aggregates such as stone, sand, or gravel, or aggregate binding agents or additives” (i.e., asphalt binder) from the new Buy America requirements. It is imperative that OMB and all agencies follow the statute while implementing IIJA to ensure these critical inputs and resources can be efficiently sourced. Should Congress deliberate further changes to federal sourcing requirements, it is imperative that additional mandates are not imposed on these specifically excluded materials and inputs that cannot be sourced onshore.
  • ROCKS Act: NSSGA strongly supports the work of Congress to include Section 11526 that establishes a working group to examine and produce policies that ensure our nation has sustainable access to aggregates resources. This provision is similar to bipartisan legislation, Rebuilding Our Communities by Keeping Aggregates Sustainable (ROCKS) Act that has been championed by Rep. Greg Stanton (AZ), Rep. Troy Balderson (OH), Sen. Mark Kelly (AZ) and Sen. Rob Portman (OH). While states like Arizona and Minnesota have taken key actions to institute policies that ensure proper planning is being done to maintain sustainable aggregates supplies, it is imperative the federal government also be involved in this planning. This will reduce material costs and improve environmental outcomes as the industry works to source materials needed to build the infrastructure funded under IIJA. NSSGA looks forward to being engaged with FHWA and being an active participant in the working group established under Section 11526.

Improving Infrastructure Challenges

While IIJA takes a historic step in addressing our nation’s infrastructure challenges, there are still a number of important areas where Congress must act to ensure America does not fall further behind. Below are the specific issues NSSGA continues to work on within this topic:

  • Water Resources Development: Aggregate materials are a critical component for the various Army Corps of Engineers projects covered under WRDA that improve ports and harbors; enhance waterway infrastructure traffic; protect our shorelines; and mitigate flooding in our communities. NSSGA supported the bipartisan efforts to pass WRDA in the last Congress and to finally open the entire Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for relevant projects in the coming years. NSSGA urges Congress to continue this investment and pass WRDA 2022 before the current authorization expires.
  • Complete Annual Spending Bills: Completion of the 12 annual appropriations bills are critical to the aggregates industry, as they provide significant investment through discretionary programs to infrastructure and support the work of agencies that are essential to our operations. Short-term and multiple stop-gap measures diminish the investments Congress previously allocated and waste taxpayer dollars, as state and local agencies are unable to reliably plan and execute projects.
  • HTF Solvency: While we applaud Congress and the administration for providing five more years of solvency for the Highway Trust Fund, Congress must look beyond that window to ensure long-term solvency. The next reauthorization bill must incorporate visionary and evolutionary revenue increases to avoid this disastrous outcome. NSSGA supports sustainable revenue source to adequately fund needed investments and create financial certainty, including vehicle-miles-traveled (VMTs), bonding measures and the raising and indexing of the federal gas tax, which has been unchanged for nearly 30 years.
  • Project Delivery: The authorization of IIJA and subsequent appropriations that need to follow is a great achievement. Congress and the administration must ensure the agencies implementing federal investments, like FHWA and state DOT’s have the staff to do environmental reviews and design. Flexibility should be provided to employ alternative procurement methods where it makes sense to deliver finished projects quicker and on time.
  • Material Neutrality: NSSGA strongly believes Congress should maintain a material neutral approach and should not legislate market share. These decisions should be left to engineers and construction professionals who have the expertise and local knowledge needed to plan and execute projects.
  • Airport Investment: NSSGA supports efforts to make continued improvements to U.S. runways, taxiways and associated infrastructure. The Airport Improvement Program (AIP) provides grants to fund construction of critical safety, security and capacity projects at airports of all sizes and is supported entirely by users of the aviation system through the Airport and Airways Trust Fund (AATF). NSSGA supports an AIP baseline of at least $3.5 billion to ensure the long-term viability of small, medium and large airports. NSSGA also supports efforts to increase the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC). Last raised in 2000, the PFC creates additional resources for much-needed airport infrastructure improvements. Unfortunately, the PFC is not keeping pace with our airport infrastructure needs or even inflation. Congress must modernize the PFC to maintain and improve our nation’s airports, which are critical to advancing our national economy, improving airline safety and the air traveler experience.

NSSGA Member Resources

NSSGA members can find more resources by clicking here.

NSSGA Statements on IIJA